Girls standing in snow by a Jeep Zipcar
January 4, 2022

Top 5 Favorite Things to Do in Winter on a Budget

Winter is a pretty magical time. As days get shorter and the temperatures cool down from coast to coast, you might be feeling the desire to get out and enjoy the crisp winter air (or to get inside and stay warm). Whether you're a fan of the chilly weather or not, there are plenty of incredible winter activities you can enjoy—even on a budget. Here are five of our favorite things to do in winter. 

1. Get Outdoors and Have Some Fun in the Snow 

If you're looking for things to do in the snow, there's loads of fun to have in your own neighborhood. Get creative and build a snowman (or a whole family of snow people). Call up some friends for an epic snowball fight. Or head to your nearest hill for some good old-fashioned tobogganing. 

If you're up for something a little more adventurous, rent a pair of snowshoes and head out of the city. Snowshoeing is a great way to get some exercise while taking in the beauty of nature in the wintertime. 

2. Visit Your City's Local Attractions 

Zoos, aquariums, and other popular attractions are often busiest in the summertime when tourism is high. By visiting during the winter, you can take advantage of the off-season by spending more time taking in the sights without feeling hurried by other visitors. In some cases, you might even be able to enjoy reduced winter admission rates. 

3. Host a Hot Cocoa and Movie Night 

Pick some of your favorite winter movies, set out some cozy blankets, and invite your besties over for hot cocoa and movies. If you want to make a day of it, host a potluck lunch (or dinner) first and have everyone bring along their favorite winter comfort food like chili, mac and cheese or even warm desserts. 

4. Enjoy Local Holiday Markets and Winter Festivals 

While shopping at holiday markets and craft fairs it can be expensive, it usually doesn't cost much to get in the door. Call up a friend or a family member and invite them to spend the day exploring craft markets or visiting a local winter festival. 

Most of these events can offer loads of winter fun, including photo ops, workshops, hot cocoa and snacks. You might even have the chance to get your hands on some free samples. Just make sure to limit what you spend while visiting vendor tables at craft fairs and holiday markets — it can be easy to overspend when you're shopping for so many unique and local items. 

5. Take a Drive and Enjoy Some Holiday Lights 

Gather some loved ones and hop in the car for a holiday light tour. During the holidays, you can enjoy beautiful light displays right in your own neighborhood, or venture outside your own area to see the displays throughout your city.  

Do some research before you go and find out if there are any special holiday light displays at parks or businesses near you. You can even try a search for "winter activities near me" and see if you can find events that boast holiday lights along with other outdoor fun.